Quick Review of a Slow Summer

Tooting Track 20 August 2016
Track running season…and you cannot fault my shoe/top colour coordination.

It’s been a while since I last made an update and there’s a simple reason: it’s easier to gloat when results go your way!

As is pretty traditional in Europe in summer, longer (>10km) distance races more or less disappear off schedules during the warmer months and make way for track races. Which, to me, is just a good reason to do some speed work training in competition without caring too much. Except, of course, that I do care. And it’s a pain in the bum to set your sights on improving your times and fall short!

On the plus side, it’s a lot more sociable than long distance races and it gets points for the club (not many from me mind you…) in the local leagues so there’s a wider benefit.

So, my summer… Well, it was frustrating. Each time I put my spikes on for a race, I’d set my mind to improve my PB. My scientific and totally valid reasoning: I think I can go faster.  Which, clearly, is bound to work: feet up, guzzle the junk food and race away.

To get my list of excuses out early, there was:

  • Runner Poopone 1500m run in gale-force winds;
  • one 800m where less than a minute had gone by between me getting off the toilet and the race starting which didn’t give my stomach much time to settle. The first 400m were fine but by god I was close to shitting myself in the last 400. Those butt muscles. Were. Clenched. I did not want to do a lap of honour like this runner to the right;
  • Another 1500m where I’d just done an 800m before (never going to be wise for PBs). As to why that 800m wasn’t a PB? Shush;
  • One 5000m where I’d cycled 30km that day to get there;
  • Another 3000m where it was bloody hot etc etc (let’s not mention the races which didn’t have mitigating circumstances!)

Where are those lovely drizzly windless 12C British summer days we so long for? Damn this sun and warmth and overall pleasantness! And where’s a personal driver when you need one?!

Obviously, the main reason is that I’m not that fast and that, unless I train for shorter distances, I won’t get better by magic. Still, it was frustrating to compare this year’s times and last year’s.


  2016 2015 Change
Distance Min Sec Min Sec
800m 2 17.07 2 16.39 0.5%
1500m 4 39.74 4 40.39 -0.2%
3000m 9 45 9 53 -1.3%
5000m 17 7 16 49 1.8%
5k 17 3 17 39 -3.4%
10k 36 25 36 11 0.6%
Half-Marathon 79 49 80 7 -0.4%
Marathon 173 50 173 49 0.01%

I’m assuming this is probably the definition of a plateau…

Anyway, now this summer season’s over, I can look forward to Cross Country season ( Err… ) and, more to the point, start increasing my weekly mileage. After 25km 2 weeks ago, 30km last week, it was time for a slow35km today.

And, like all marathon weirdos, the best way to relax afterwards? Ice bath, homemade toilet TV to watch the Olympics marathon and soya chocolate milk. Who said running wasn’t romantic?!

Ice Bath TV Olympics Marathon
Romance is dead.

One thought on “Quick Review of a Slow Summer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s